Eduard's much anticipated 1/48 scale Fokker Dr.1 made its debut as an interesting promotional kit for the German movie "Der Rote Baron," a story of the von Richthofen brothers Lothar and Manfred (alias the Red Baron). Both flew the Fokker Dr.1.
The kit is a treasure trove of goodies, including a re-release of Eduard's Albatros D.V kit with prepainted photoetched-metal detail parts and exquisite 1/48 scale resin figures of Manfred, his brother Lothar, and his dog Moritz. In addition, there is a 1/3 scale replica of the Blue Max medal and portrait cards for each brother - but we'll stick to the all-new Fokker Dr.1.
The 77 tan plastic parts are well molded, with good detail and accurately thin struts and trailing edges. Parts are given to produce the earlier Fokker F.1 as well as the Dr.1. The wing-rib detail is especially well done. However, my sample had significant mold-parting-line steps on several small parts that were troublesome to clean up.
The 16-page, glossy instruction booklet includes subassembly blowups and indications for part colors. Full-color four-views for the six possible color schemes show decal locations. The marking schemes are: Manfred's F.1 in a green, streaked scheme; Manfred's Dr.1 in a similar scheme; one partially red craft of Manfred's; two all-red versions of Manfred's last aircraft; and one mostly yellow Dr.1 flown by Lothar.
Interior detail, with prepainted photoetched-metal parts, is outstanding, and the assembly fits nicely within the fuselage halves. The lacing on the bottom of the fuselage midline is a separate plastic insert, and the transverse lacing is a photoetched-metal part. The machine guns, with perforated metal jackets, are an improvement over earlier Eduard offerings. I painted major parts with Polly Scale caboose red and decaled them prior to assembly.
It is important to follow the instructions and add the middle wing to the fuselage first. Otherwise, you can't get the one-piece interplane struts in place. With a little cleanup, these fit well. I had some difficulty getting the decking attached to the middle wing so that it mated well with the fuselage. I shortened the gun ammo feed belts (parts C2) and the spent-shell chute (Part C11) to accomplish this, taking care to ensure the horizontal stabilizer and middle wing were parallel. The upper and lower wings went into place nicely, but the cabane struts required some fussing.
After the above assembly, I added the beautifully detailed engine and its cowl. I masked the prop and painted it to represent laminations.
You'll need to employ your best small-parts retrieval system, because there are a lot of them to lose. Rigging indications are subtle but present except for the aileron control lines from the top wing to fuselage.
Rigging was quicker and easier for me than it has ever been because of a product called Wonder Wire, a 6-mil, steel-colored ceramic filament which is stiff, straight, and fastens with tiny drops of white glue. Just measure the length and cut the filament with a hobby blade. (Wonder Wire is available from Precision Enterprises Unlimited, P.O. Box 97, Springfield, VT 05156.)
I spent about 28 hours on the Dr.1, much of it on detail work. The model is essentially accurate in contour and dimensions. Anyone who gets excited about the frantic aerobatic duels between Tripes and Camels will want this kit. I recommend it for intermediate-to-experienced modelers who don't mind working with small parts.
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